Pocket Books, out now
The crew of the Sagittarius come to the aid of a planet where an experiment has gone disastrously wrong – and the odds will never be in their favour…
David Mack’s latest novel in the Seekers saga sees Clark Terrell and his crew discover that “what can go wrong will go wrong” can sometimes be an understatement. This gives Mack plenty of opportunity for short cutaways to those affected, emphasising exactly what is at stake – while the run of luck may begin with everyone winning at a casino, by the end of the book the bad luck is hitting a cosmic scale.
In a way – and this isn’t a negative by any means – this feels like an adventure of the S.C.E. (the Starfleet Corps of Engineers), the team of specialists who had to continually pull solutions out of thin air (or assorted parts of their own anatomy) in order to deal with the weirdnesses that the universe threw at them. Captain Terrell and his landing party try to get to the source of the problem – which involves Clark riding shotgun in almost a literal sense as they wend their way towards the place where it all started – while those left on board ship cope with ever-increasing issues such as meteor showers coming from nowhere, and the quantum nature of the situation exacerbating everything.
Amongst all this well-described action, Mack doesn’t neglect the characterisation of either the regulars or the aliens that they’re meeting. We get a clear idea of the planetary society, and there are some very nice additions to our knowledge of the crew – Mack has always been good at providing his characters with credible reactions in the face of danger and there’s one section towards the end of this that rings very true. There’s quite a bit of black humour, and a couple of laugh aloud moments; it’s by no means all doom and gloom.
Verdict: Another terrific addition to the Taurus Reach chronicles. 8/10